I usually post a picture from when I was younger for my official birthday post but I'm going to change it up this time.
This year is the 'big five zero' and I've never been one to actually pay attention to the number but... I have to acknowledge it is a milestone. I've worked hard to keep close to the things that make me happy... music, drums, and comics. I'll just talk about a few recent events and some others that have significance to me:
If you know me then you know I've been a lifelong Batman fan since seeing repeats of the '66 Adam West / Burt Ward television show at around age 7 or 8. Comic books helped me learn to read, develop a love of writing, and an understanding of remixing a creation using characters that are celebrating up to 80 years of publication history. I had the good fortune of meeting author Marc Tyler Nobleman in 2009 who was beginning (what would become a nine year) campaign to get the late Bill Finger credit for his contributions for co-creating Batman. I've learned a lot through Marc's research and he's a great example of fighting for a cause you believe in... even with the odds are stacked WAY against you. Three years ago today, DC Comics officially added Bill Finger’s name to the Batman credit line after 76 years of anonymity. I love that this happened on my birthday because there's no truer story of truth and justice than Bill's and I'm honored to have been acknowledged by Marc in the 2017 documentary, 'Batman & Bill'.
Which leads me to the other thing I've done for just as long... play music.
I was very lucky to have been exposed to so many different types of music growing up. I inherited a lot of 45 records from my aunts and uncles that kicked the whole thing off. Santana, Joe Tex, Chicago, Jackson 5, The Stylistics, The Who, Commodores, and Heatwave were only a few of the ones I would listen to over and over. My neighborhood friend had three older brothers who were all in the Colombia Record Club so there was a LOT of new music coming into their home. We would sit and listen to their collection (mostly rock) for hours. I remember hearing ELO's 'Discovery', Cheap Trick at Budokan, Steve Miller's 'Fly Like An Eagle', and The Eagles' 'Hotel California' when they debuted and were considered the cutting edge in the genre.
It was a entirely different vibe when my parents and I would visit my grandmother. She still had two teenagers in the house in addition to everyone always coming over (it's a huge family). I'd hear traditional Tejano music (it's a huge Mexican family) from my grandfather's radio, raw disco from my late-teens uncle, or listen to the local soul/funk station KHYS 98 blasting through an open window (aka the A/C).
My Dad really loved traditional country music and that's what we listened to in the car or in his garage... I'm sure that's what prompted a trip to Nashville when I was around 8 or 9. I remember they asked me to go up to this 'strange man' and ask for his autograph... so I guess Sonny James is the first celebrity I ever met. By the time I started getting into my own music, I had a pretty vast catalog to build on which has served me well throughout years of creating and performing.
So... I'm 50. There. I said it.
But I still enjoy the same things that brought me so much joy as a kid and I can now share them as a parent. Encouraging your kid to watch/draw cartoons, read comics, and make noise by swinging wooden sticks and hitting hand drums... that's me!
I brought in the closing hours of 49 by playing a quick one with friends and was joined by Garth Brook's touring guitarist for a rendering of "Baton Rouge".